Monday, 19 May 2008

Never give up

What a fantastic weekend. Friday night was the Charlatans' gig at Southampton Guildhall. Early signs weren't promising as the venue was only about 2/3rds full. Weird that Ian Brown recently packed it out and yet, on Friday, there was plenty of standing room left and loads of the seating was empty. To the Charlatans credit though they never gave up and despite the low turn out I'd say the atmosphere was the best I've seen at Southampton. There was a good mix of songs going right back to tracks off of Some Friendly which helped to get the crowd going. Apart from that they were just tight. I've never been a big fan of the sound at the guildhall but they seemed to get the best out of it (it's a bit like a massive concrete shoe box shape so you normally get weird echos and reverberations). This is the third time I've seen the Charlatans and they just seem to get better and better. They've come full circle and are really keyboard driven again. "Weirdo" was great and (I'm guessing) not an easy song to pull off live BUT, that was the one that took me from having a really good time to the next level. I was still smiling today when I thought about it...

That and the football. Yep - probably the most important footballing moment in my life on Saturday when Pompey won the FA Cup. In fact, this was such a big one that I don't think it's really sunk in yet. Am I dissapointed that I didn't go to the game, or even the homecoming? Well no, not really. I'm over the moon and this was one of the few games that I've seen recently that had the power to give me butterflies before the game but football hasn't been that big a part of my life for years now - it's had to make way for other things as, to follow football properly takes a big investment of time. It would be hypocritical for me to jump on the bandwagon now but, that said, I can remember being crushed in 1992. That was when football really meant something to me. The hopes invested in that cup run and the belief that because we were the underdogs we had a divine right to victory were unbelievable. I can really feel for those Cardiff fans (and to be fair their team gave them alot to be proud of). Ok, so 2008 was our time just as 1992 it belonged to Liverpool so there's a certain justice to that but I doubt many Cardiff fans see it that way. What was really great was that this game made me feel like I did when I was 14 again, just for a bit. Being in the Premiership is great but in most of the games I don't see the sort of passion or commitment that I remember from when I was a kid... Maybe that's as much about growing up as it is about football getting more commercial. Because the FA Cup throws teams like Cardiff into the mix (you don't get many glory hunters turning up to support Cardiff) it's still got a sort of magically quality - like if you hope hard enough it'll happen. It did for us - just took 16 years. I guess the moral is never give up!

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